It is never too early to talk about the NFL, nor can anyone argue about it too much. One of the best debates is the annual discussion about the MVP. Each year there are a few candidates that could win the award. Fortunately, it can be wagered upon as well. Who are the best bets for the MVP?

Before breaking it down, it should be mentioned that over the last 10 years there has only been one non-QB to finish in the top 3 in voting. In fact, in that one situation, Adrian Peterson rushed for over 2000 yards and he still did not win.

JJ Watt had one of the best defensive seasons in history and did not win. Therefore, as tempting as it is to bet on a non-QB position player because the odds are long, it is a waste of money.

The short odds MVP choices such as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Carson Wentz do not provide enough value to wager upon either because they are all 10:1 or lower. Let’s take a look at the top options with those two concepts in mind.

Best Bets for the 2018 MVP:

Ben Roethlisberger (16:1)

One of the keys to the MVP race is having a winning season. Matthew Stafford has put up stats without wins, and he has proven that is not enough. Pittsburgh is clearly the best team in their division, and should easily win 10 or 11 games. Roethlisberger, if healthy, has a great chance to win the MVP.

Furthermore, the AFC is much weaker than the NFC. The argument could be made that 10 of the best 12 or 13 teams reside in the NFC, which means that a top calibur NFC QB could miss out on the playoffs despite winning 10 games. If Big Ben stays healthy, the Steelers seem like a lock for a first round bye in the playoffs.

Cam Newton (20:1)

Cam is a household name, and the centerpiece to an otherwise lackluster offense. If the Panthers have a good season, he will absolutely receive a lionshare of the credit, which is requisite for winning the MVP.

Deshaun Watson (20:1)

Watson was an absolute stud last season when he was able to play. He lit up the Seahawks in Seattle and went yard-for-yard against Tom Brady. The young Clemson product is a highlight reel waiting to happen, and much like Newton, if Houston is good Watson will be given the credit.

Marcus Mariota (40:1)

In college Mariota was a dual threat monster at Oregon, but the old Titan regime kept a tight leash on Mariota. What if he is cut loose this season? The Titans offense could explode with all of the young talent on the roster. At 40:1 Mariota is worth a wager.

Patrick Mahomes (50:1)

Mahomes has a gigantic arm and Andy Reid calling the plays. Neither guy is shy about airing it out, which could allow Mahomes to put up huge numbers in 2018. The AFC West is wide open, which could lead to a bunch of flex games on national tv late in the season. Mahomes is not a household name yet, but by season’s end he absolutely could be.

The 2018 NFL season is still about two and a half months away, which means that there is plenty of time to debate who is the most likely player to win the MVP. When choosing, look for a QB, on a winning team, who will get the credit when the team wins. Unlike in other sports, simply putting up elite stats is not enough to be the MVP of the NFL. Good luck on whoever you back!